Dive into reading!

Island Readers & Writers, a nonprofit based in Southwest Harbor, strives to instill a love of reading and learning among children living in coastal Maine. The organization shared a few of the many books on its “2019 Winter Book List”. To learn more, visit islandreadersandwriters.org.

“Got to Get to Bear’s,” by Brian Lies (Preschool-grade 2)

The day of a snowstorm, Izzy the chipmunk gets a note from Bear asking Izzy to come right away.

Since Bear never asks for anything, Izzy has to get there — and quick! But as the snow piles up, Izzy has trouble crossing through the woods. One by one, her other friends the squirrel, duck and raccoon help her get to Bear’s through the storm. Once they arrive, Izzy gets quite the surprise! A sweet story about counting on and celebrating friends.

“Dinosaur Feathers,” by Dennis Nolan (Preschool-grade 2)

A book that rhymes the Latin names of dinosaurs! Not only that, it also holds in its glossy pages beautiful illustrations of well-known and lesser-known dinosaurs, along with common and exotic birds.

Why these two types of animals in one book? Because they are uniquely connected by time and evolution. A must-have for dinosaur fans, and a great read for anyone who loves the sounds of language, colorful renditions of prehistoric life and an expansive perspective on time and transition.

“Harry Houdini” by Kjartan Poskitt; illustrated by Geraint Ford (Grades 3-5)

This early chapter book is among the “First Names” series about notable people throughout history. It is a fun, fast-paced read that uses both text and illustrations to tell the life history of the famous magician — and even gives clues to his magic tricks! An exciting book for new readers.

“Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women” by Catherine Thimmesh; illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Grades 4-7)

This book busts wide open the stereotype against women being significant contributors to the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by profiling both women and girls inventing things that made major changes to our way of life. Those things range from windshield wipers to Kevlar to a method for turning plastic into fuel.

One of the most surprising stories features Jordan Reeves, a 10-year-old girl, born without a left forearm or hand, who designed and 3D-printed her own prosthetic that shoots out glitter!

“Patron Saints of Nothing,” by Randy Ribay (Grades 10 and up)

High school senior Jay Ruggiero doesn’t have much to worry about; he’s graduating soon and will head off to nearby University of Michigan in the fall, something his Filipino father is disappointed by since it’s not Harvard. But Jay feels unmoored to his future.

Just before spring break, Jay learns that his 17-year-old cousin Jun has been killed in the Philippines by police as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent war on drugs. Shaken by the news, Jay travels to Manila to uncover the truth behind Jun’s death, where he learns about the country of his birth and the family he left behind.

A powerful story about truth, the complexities of family, injustice and cultural divides. Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People.

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